Obama makes another pitch for his presidential centre plans

CHICAGO - Former President Barack Obama has made another pitch for his presidential centre on Chicago's South Side, saying it will create jobs and attract businesses to the area.

Obama on Tuesday downplayed concerns about increased housing costs and other issues that have been raised by residents who live near the planned centre.

Activists rallied before the meeting, saying they wanted to draw attention to residents who could lose their homes once the centre is built.

Obama noted it's understandable to be concerned about gentrification. However, he said he hasn't noticed too much development or too much economic activity being a problem on the South Side.

Tuesday's Obama Foundation public meeting on the centre was its last. The plans for the centre in Jackson Park now go before Chicago's Plan Commission.

Crews are expected to break ground later this year and open doors in 2021.

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